As much as I am ashamed to be a grown man crying, it feels good man.
EDIT: Jynri, Gwinlynn, Detch and Kalo, if you are reading this stop now - spoilers are ahead!
As the title would imply, my last CoS session I DM'd was certainly a wild ride. For some context, the party at the time consisted of three neutral or good PCs, Ireena (who they have taken under their wing to try and keep her away from Strahd), and the player who made this crucial mistake, a Lawful Evil Hexblade Warlock. Despite some disagreements on the morality of how they conduct themselves, the party's general approach to eventually defeating Strahd is that while it would be suicide alone, it might be possible if they can unite the citizens of Barovia together against him. As such, they were intent on helping Vallaki overthrow Baron Vallakovich and instilling someone who would be able to competently rule.
Enter Vasili Von Holtz, as a generally kind and helpful noble in town who assisted the party on more than one occasion. After the party overthrew the Burgomaster, Von Holtz suggested to them that the Wachter's might try to rule in his place and would be even worse for the town. So the party went to drive the Wachter's out of town as well (not too difficult of a task, given that Strahd had worded up Lady Wachter to go along with it) - and who was left to become the new Burgomaster of Vallaki except their noble friend, Vasili Von Holtz. And what a start he got off to, abolishing the compulsory festivals, compelling the town to turn over all items of silver to be smelted into weapons (or behind the scenes, to be gotten rid of and replaced with imitations so Vallaki is not effectively armed against him), and ordering that more Guards be assigned to watch the walls (meaning less patrolling town itself and an easier task hiding Vampire Spawn for the eventual Feast of St Andral). He even gifted the party with a property in Vallaki - what a generous saint!
Ireena wasn't actually with the party for the second coup, so on the eve of all this, the LE Warlock tells the party he is going to fetch her and bring her to the new property. "Except DM, I'm not going to go get Ireena - I'd instead like to visit Vasili Von Holtz." Unusual, but ok. This player, while working with the party, quite often conspires on any number of hidden agendas, so I assumed he wanted to try and get Von Holtz involved in one of these.
The Warlock heads to his manor, asks if he can come in to celebrate and discuss future policy for Vallaki. They're invited in. Brief conversation about Strahd, and... keep reading on reddit ➡